Books I recently bid adieu to

Recently I did a clean out of my bookshelf because at the moment I only have one, so space is very precious. I therefore gave away books that I didn’t love or didn’t think I would read again. All of the books I have kept are ones that I love dearly and unfortunately the following books just didn’t make the cut.

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Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard

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Underwhelming and a bit too much like other YA novels for my liking. I tried really hard to like it but I ended up DNF’ing it at about the 120 mark. It has been passed onto a good home however so I hope the next person who reads it likes it more than me.

The Jewel – Amy Ewing

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The instalove was my biggest bugaboo with this book. I really just wasn’t a fan of it and didn’t want to continue with the series.

Age of the Five series – Trudi Canavan

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This series was ok, but for me it wasn’t a stand out and definitely not a series I would read again. I found the main character to be a bit of a special snowflake and the stories itself dragged on for a bit. My favourite part was Mischief, Auraya’s pet Veez. He was so ridiculously cute and reminded me of my cat.

Beautiful Creatures series – Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

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I think I gave this series away out of bitterness, because I had been so excited to read these books. Unfortunately they turned out to be very underwhelming and a bit wishy washy to me. I didn’t like Lena, the love interest, and I didn’t think she was worth Ethan pursuing. This series was just a whole lot of meh, which was quite disappointing.

My Sister Rosa – Justine Larbalestier

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This book probably could have been really good however I gave up on reading it for a rather petty reason….the main character kept referring to his parents as “the parentals”. You have no idea how much this bugged me, it was like a plate smashing every time I read it – which was every single page. I have read good reviews for this book and like I said I have no doubt it was, I just couldn’t get over my petty grievance.

The Left Hand of God series – Paul Hoffman

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I really loved the way the Author narrated these books, it was quite humerous at times and witty. However this was another series that ended up being kind of all over the place. It almost felt as if the Author didn’t really have an outline of what was going to happen over the 3 books – especially when you get to the last book and it is written in a different format. It totally threw me off and I just couldn’t get into it, so this series unfortunately ended up being a DNF.

Twilight series – Stephanie Meyer

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I felt it was finally time for me to let go of these books. I will never ever read them again because they are terribly written, and the nostalgia alone just wasn’t enough for me to keep them taking up room. At least now that they have been passed on to someone else they hopefully won’t just sit there gathering dust. Fare thee well, Twilight.

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So because I gave away 18 books, I can now go and buy 50 more…that’s the way it works right? Oh and it’s now June!! I hope you all have a wonderful month!!

Steff xx

 

A Review: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Last night I finished Lord of Shadows. It was an absolutely wonderful book, so I have tried to give it as much justice in my review as possible.

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

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Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she’d be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again? And the faerie courts are not silent. The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters’ demands. Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian, and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear-before it’s too late.

Where do I even begin?

I have been a massive fan of Cassandra Clare’s work ever since I picked up City of Bones. I absolutely fell in love with the world she had created and such wonderful intriguing characters (umm Magnus Bane anyone??). So I was quite excited for Lord of Shadows, the 2nd book in The Dark Artifices trilogy.

Once again, Clare has created characters that are completely diverse, which I absolutely love. We have characters from all around the world, we have LGBTQIA+ characters, and we have a character with autism which I think is absolutely wonderful. Regardless of your feelings for Clare’s work, I don’t think you could ever fault her when it comes to diversity.

I loved how this story doesn’t just center on one or two people. The Blackthorn family is quite big, and you would think things would get messy with so many people. However I found that the characters are interwoven perfectly, allowing you to see an eagle eye view of the whole situation. I also LOVED how we became re-acquainted with characters from The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. I was so, so excited to see them again, it was like catching up with old friends!!

Following the lines of her other books, we are never short of angst. SOOO MUCH ANGST!! But you know what? I love it, I always have! I will be very interested to see where certain characters head with their relationships (and I’m not just talking about Julian and Emma).

There were some beautiful quotes in this book. This one however, was my favourite:

“We fear things because we value them. We fear losing people because we love them. We fear dying because we value being alive. Don’t wish you didn’t fear anything. All that would mean is that you didn’t feel anything”.

There were characters in this book that I absolutely LOVED while there were other characters who I ABSOLUTELY HATED. There were quite a few characters I wanted to bop on the head. Because of this, my emotions were running high all throughout this book and really hit a peak at the end of the book.

Which brings me to the ending. Ohhhhh boy. Pure evil and genius on Cassandra Clare’s part because now I am going to be pining for the next book for the next 1-2 years. I didn’t know what to do when it finished, I sat there all teary and sad, hugging LoS like it was a baby. Why Cassie?? Why would you do this to me?!?!?!?

Overall I honestly can’t think of any faults. I loved this installment of The Dark Artifices, with all it’s action, humour, love, loss and betrayal. I absolutely CANNOT WAIT for the next book…I think things are going to be HECTIC!!!

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Steff xx

ACOWAR: The one where perfection becomes boring (rant…sorry)

You know what is beautiful? Flaws.

I have this gripe, and I feel like it’s been building for a few weeks. Mostly since I finished reading A Court of Wings and Ruin.

So before we go any further, there are SPOILERS for the “A Court of Thorns and Roses” series. I need to do a bit of a break-down to see where it all went wrong.

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It all started with the first book, A Court of Thorns and Roses. We meet Rhys, the most beautiful male Feyre has ever seen. But he is dark and mysterious, seems like a bit of a prick but does nice things for Feyre. He is an anti-hero, a bad boy with a bit of a soft spot for Feyre though we don’t really know whether it’s genuine or if it is for his own purpose. Rhys is smug, arrogant, witty, funny and rude…and it is beautiful. Because he comes across so flawed, so unperfect (apart from his looks).

We then move onto the second book, A Court of Mist and Fury. As we know, Tamlin is a write-off, he is terribly flawed to the point where he is more like a dementor than the guy that Feyre once loved. So of course, we can’t like Tamlin because he isn’t perfect. The first half of the book, Rhys is still ACOTAR Rhys. He is smug, makes Feyre cranky and frustrated. He is still flawed but you can see that there is genuine concern for Feyre. Half-way through the book, we learn that Rhys isn’t as he has portrayed himself and he is actually a good guy who had to do bad things. He was still rough around the edges, he had his own traumas to contend with and these things still made him beautiful. Because he was flawed.

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Now is when I sigh, but in an annoyed kind of way. Along comes the third and final book of the series, A Court of Wings and Ruin. Gone are the days where Rhys is flawed. He is squeaky clean to the point where it is boring. Rhys doesn’t challenge Feyre, he agrees with every single thing she says. He puts Feyre on a pedestal, which is fine, however there’s no flirting or joking around like he did in ACOMAF. Even when Feyre is wrong or out of line he bows down to her. He pretty much just acts like a puppy dog, wagging his tail and following Feyre around with stars in his eyes. His rough edges are gone, and it is disappointing. Because this beautiful character that Sarah J Maas created, gradually had turned dull and boring. In ACOWAR Rhys became a martyr, a far-cry from ACOTAR where he was more the anti-hero.

Now, I’m not saying that it’s boring to not be edgy or anything like that. My biggest issue is that Rhys had to be perfect. Why did he have to be perfect? What is wrong with having flaws? What was wrong with Rhys not being a martyr? Like, yeah we get it, you want to save the world blah, blah, blah. And yeah, we get you’re “the good guy”. But it crosses over into sickeningly good when we find out he has this martyr complex (a bit like Harry Potter). And while some may say that his martyr complex is a flaw, it definitely isn’t what Maas intended.

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Flaws are beautiful, people! There is nothing wrong with writing characters that have spikey edges. I know these books are fantasy, and I guess perfection is a fantasy and what a lot of people wish for. But perfection is boring. Why would you want to live in a world like the town in Edward Scissorhands with white-picket fences, perfectly cut lawns and a crystal blue sky 365 days of the year?

Some of you may disagree with me on this, and that’s ok. Some of you may be upset that I have kind of trash talked (but not really) a fan favourite. I still love Rhys – but ACOTAR and ACOMAF Rhys. To me, ACOWAR Rhys was “meh” and that makes me super sad…because his flaws are what made him perfect. Not his perfection.

Tell me your thoughts on this matter!!!

Steff xx

 

A Poem

I wrote this late last night, too many thoughts in my head. I don’t know if it’s very good, but if you have feedback please let me know (I’m all for constructive criticism) 🙂

Black Veil

On the brightest of days, it waits

Like a predator, eyeing off its prey

It sits

Out of sight, camouflaged

A black mist, particles threatening to coalesce

Swirling, lazy but determined

The mist thickens, blocking out the sun

A veil of darkness encases the world in black

I breathe

But for how long?

My limbs are heavy, the darkness drags

I am nothing, I am no-one

Out of the darkness a rope of light falls

I grab it and hold on

It pulls me up out of the veil

And into the light.

Again, the black veil waits.

Steff xx